This week's Answer:
You Should Mention It
you should ask that question, Ronald. That was a weak
attempt at humor. Some who read it may have tittered, but
most probably groaned. Comedy is relative. If Einstein had
been funnier, he might have also written The Theory of
Comedic Relativity. (I think his hair was funny enough.)
And what I mean by "comedic relativity" is that
you might need a relative in the business to make it as a
comedic writer. Another weak attempt at humor.
above is only one style of humor, which is called
"playing on words". I like to use that style,
playing with words. There are many styles, many
approaches, many books, blogs, and authorities on the
subject. I, myself, do not claim to be one of these
authorities. But I have written several sitcoms, written
for stand-up comedy, skits, shows, radio comedies and
screenplay comedies. What I'm getting at is that I know
what I think is funny. And THAT'S where you always
start when you want to "write funny": with yourself.
trap and a mistake is to try to write what you think
others think is funny. It will never work. You'll be
caught in a whirling, endless whirlpool, not knowing which
way is up, trying to figure out what everybody else thinks
his funny. Instead, like all the great comedic
writers -- screenwriters, novelists, essayists, comic
strip writers, bloggers, playwrights, stand-up comedians,
etc. -- they draw you into their unique point of view,
their unique way of looking at the world, into their
sense of humor.
also happen to be working on a sitcom with two other
writers, and the only way we've gotten this far and
finished one script and are working on the next -- and
have been laughing for years and every time we write and
even read the sitcom -- is because the three of us
have a similar sense of humor. We write to please ourselves.
In a sense, we write comedy so that we can entertain
ourselves and make ourselves laugh.
you think your writing is funny, it's funny. To you.
And that's all that matters.
course, we want others to laugh, too, including
comedy TV producers, so that they'll pay us a lot of money
so they can shoot our show, and then we want the viewers
to laugh and like our show so the producer of our funny
show will think it's so funny and so successful that he'll
want to shoot many more seasons of our show so we can
become famous funny writers and other producers who are
looking for funny material will hire us so we can do the
same thing over and over again and make a lot more money
and have more success until they're cancelled because
viewers aren't laughing as much anymore and the money
stops coming coming in and we're no longer successful
that's when you really need to be able to laugh.